Libya (exclusive): Gharyan missile base major threat to Tripolitans


Metransparent Exclusive

Libyan sources confirmed that head of Libyan Intelligence, Abdullah Senoussi, is still in the Bab al-Aziziyya barracks with Libya’s president Muammar Qaddafi. Sources predicted that Senoussi is, probably, being blamed for his provocative behavior in Benghazi, on February 14 and 15, which sparked the first act of rebellion in the country. Senoussi had ordered the arrest of a young Benghazi lawyer, Fathi Tirbil, who was representing the families of 1400 prisoners massacred inside the Bouslim Tripoli prison in 1996. The bodies of the slain prisoners were never returned to their families.

In commenting the proposed no-fly zone sources pointed out that such a measure might not be sufficient to topple the Qaddafi regime if not accompanied by air strikes against Qaddafi’s so-called Security Battalions and by an interdiction on the use of Libya’s highways,still controlled by loyalist forces.

Gharyan missile base a major threat

Sources insisted on the terrible threat represented by hundreds of missiles stored at the Gharyan missile base on the slopes of the Gharyan Mountains (822 meters) in northwestern Libya. The missiles, sources insisted, are directed at Tripoli itself and “the base had been built in the western mountains region with a view to crushing any revolt in Libya’s crowded capital”. The missiles “have no business but to crush Tripoli”, sources insisted. Unless destroyed by US or NATO fighters, the Gharyan missile base, commanded by ‘General Sahdan‘, could start firing at Tripoli any time, even if a no-fly zone was in vigor over Libya. The human toll in Tripoli could be terrible.

The January ‘housing revolt’ a prelude..

In retrospective, sources said Libya’s so-called ‘housing rebellion’, which started on January 14, should, probably, be considered the first chapter of Libya’s present upheaval.

Coming in the aftermath of the Tunisian revolt, Libyan authorities had taken a totally passive attitude when groups of young people started occupying hundreds of newly finished luxury apartment buildings (built by Korean and Turkish contractors) all over Libya, starting by newly constructed buildings on the Tripoli airport highway. Security forces never intervened to stop the movement which, at the time, seemed totally apolitical.

“That, probably, was the moment when Libyans discovered the weakness of the regime. It was the prelude to Libya’s February revolution”, sources said.

On January 14, metransparent’s main Arabic article was titled: An Intifada in Libya: groups of young people occupy new apartment buildings on the Tripoli airport highway“. The article quoted eye witnesses saying that “the housing revolt is similar to the Tunisia revolt where the regime is living its last hours. Witnesses said the Tunisian ‘contagion’ has reached Libya. Both regimes have in common their total disregard for their citizens”. In the following days, the housing revolt spread as far as Kufra in the south of Libya.

The article quoted highly placed sources as saying that “the spread of the movement to the highly crowded coastal region extending over 320 kilometers from Misratah (east of Tripoli) to Subrata (west of Tripoli) could signal the collapse of Libya’s regime”.

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